The Protest Banner Lending Library at PrintRoom
The concept of the Protest Banner Lending Library was created by US-based artist, writer and educator Aram Han Sifuentes (she/they), in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election. The project emerges from Aram’s interest in the subversive and socio-political potentialities of skill-sharing. Aram’s banner-making workshops can be understood as a ‘commoning’ of textile techniques, as equally poetic as it is practical. Through this gesture of designing, constructing and freely circulating banners, the Protest Banner Lending Library nurtures intergenerational community-building, social action, and both individual and collective empowerment.
In the autumn of 2021, Aram was publisher-in-residence at PrintRoom. Over the course of several workshops, Aram instructed participants on how to create a banner that requires no prior knowledge of sewing. In turn, participants are able to further distribute this knowledge to others. The resulting banners reflect a broad spectrum of personal and collective urgencies — including: the housing crisis, climate change and sustainability, LGBTQIA+ solidarity, the rights of undocumented people, and respecting our mothers. On the 9th October, a pop-up exhibition of the banner decorated the Rijnhoutplein, and a parade proceeded along the Nieuwe Binnenweg towards Eendrachtsplein.
PrintRoom is a permanent branch of Protest Banner Lending Library, currently the only such branch in the Netherlands. Banners can be loaned free of charge for a variety of occasions — including demonstrations, rallies, parades and in-door events.
If you would like to borrow a banner, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photographs by Willem Mes